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Greece: 4th preferred destination in 2012

Providing interesting insights into the preferences of European travellers, the Eurobarometer survey reveals that 4% of European tourists are planning to spend their holidays in Greece in 2012, compared to 10% in Spain, 7% in Italy and 6% in France.
Moreover, Greece was the 6th most visited country in 2011. The survey also reveals that the majority of EU-residents are confident travellers, who prefer arranging their holidays by themselves, although they still rely on recommendations from family and friends about where to go. For this Eurobarometer survey, over 30,000 randomly selected citizens were interviewed in January 2012 in the 27 EU Member States as well as in Norway, Iceland, Croatia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Israel.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Prime Minister`s Belgrade Visit

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou paid a short visit to Belgrade on January 4 to address the Annual Conference of the Ambassadors of Serbia. During his visit, the premier met with Serbia’s President and Prime Minister, Boris Tadic and Mirko Cvetkovic.

Speaking after his meeting with the Serb President, Papandreou said that bilateral relations are excellent and noted that his presence in Belgrade signals the beginning of an effort to enable the western Balkans to join the European Union in 2014.
“Greece is in the front line of the initiative that constitutes a basic aim for peace, cooperation, and stability in the region,” Papandreou said. 
Addressing the 3rd Congress of Serbia’s ambassadors, Papandreou said that 2014 is a crucial year for the EU accession of the Western Balkan states, stressing that this region has to make big steps forward and leave behind the wars and conflicts of the past.
The premier also referred to “global governance that is in the making,” stressing, among other things, that “national states are gradually becoming incapable of handling global problems by themselves, such as climatic change, immigration and organised crime,” and called for global cooperation and regional alliances. 
See also: Athens News Agency: PM reiterates support for Serbia’s EU course

Tribute to the Greek Patriot Rigas Fereos

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The restoration of Nebojsa Tower in Belgrade, Serbia where Rigas Fereos (1757-1798) was held captured and tortured will be launched this month and it is expected to be completed before the end of the year. The project will be funded by the Hellenic Parliament, the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Municipality of Belgrade. Rigas Fereos was a writer and revolutionary, an eminent figure of the Greek Enlightenment, remembered as a Greek national hero, the first victim of the uprising against the Ottoman Empire and a forerunner of the Greek War of Independence. Fereos’ vision for Greece’s emancipation from the Ottoman Empire was based on a Pan-Balkanic uprising under the guidance of Greece.  Around 1793, Fereos went to Vienna -the capital of the Austrian Empire and home to a large Greek community– in an effort to ask Napoleon Bonaparte for assistance and support.  The Austrian Empire opposed every movement which could jeopardise its territorial integrity and therefore ordered its secret services to arrest Fereos. He was imprisoned and tortured in the in the Nebojsa Tower in Belgrade and his body was thrown to the Danube River.  Fereos’ last words reportedly were: “I have sown a rich seed; the hour is coming when my country will reap its glorious fruits”.  Foundation of the Hellenic World: Ottoman Period- Towards the Greek Revolution

Greece – Serbia Connection

Papoulias in Belgrade
papouliasserbia1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) 
President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias is on a two-day official visit in Serbia. Papoulias was warmly received by his Serbian counterpart Boris Tadić in Belgrade yesterday (July 2), where they held talks on bilateral relations and the European prospect of Serbia. Tadić thanked Greece for its position on the Kosovo issue. On his part, Papoulias emphasised the great importance of Serbia as a strategic partner and interlocutor for Greece. “Serbia can and should play a stabilising role […] in the region of Balkans” stated Papoulias, while stressing Greece’s support for Serbia’s accession to the European family and the ongoing initiative within the EU to lift visa restrictions for Serbian people. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations Greece-Serbia; Greek News Agenda: Relations with Serbia  
Hellenic Culture Foundation in Belgrade
belgrad_ktirio5The Hellenic Culture Foundation Centre in Belgrade was inaugurated July 3, in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias and his Serbian counterpart Boris Tadić. The new HCF centre will promote relations between the two countries in the field of education, as the Greek language has been taught for more than twenty years in Serbian Universities, and the same is true for the Serbian language in Greek Universities. Moreover, the HFC Centre in Belgrade will offer the study of the Greek language and will organise cultural events in collaboration with the local educational and cultural institutions.

Interview of Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)              The 55th-anniversary edition of the Serb newspaper “Novosti” features a full-page interview of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis with its correspondent to Greece, Zvonimir Simunek.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Interview of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis in the Serbian daily “Novosti” 

Economic Cooperation Greece – Serbia

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)      Ushering a new period of economic cooperation between Greece and Serbia, Foreign Affairs and Economy and Finance Ministries have agreed that Greece should contribute to the financing of the “Corridor 10” (as part of the Pan European Corridors) linking Thessaloniki to Belgrade and Salzburg. The estimated cost of the Corridor’s part in Serbia is €475 million, and Greece’s participation amounts to €100 million. The visit’s itinerary included a business meeting hosted by the Greek Serbian Business Council on October 9, during which, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Petros Doukas noted that Greek investments in Serbia have exceeded €2.5 billion to date and that more than 27,000 Serbians are employed in Greek enterprises. The project for Greece’s participation in the Corridor 10’s construction is financed by the Hellenic Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans (HiPERB). European Economic and Social Committee: Pan European Corridors (2003); Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-Serbia Bilateral Relations (Economic and trade relations/development cooperation) & Economic Diplomacy

Greece at the International Animated Film Festival in Belgrade

Greek Animation and Animators, creators from the wider audiovisual sector will be honored in Belgrade, by the Balkanima, International Animated Film Festival, that will take place in Belgrade from 7th to 11th of October 2008. For the benefit of the festival and the best possible presentation of our country in Serbia, the Hellenic Audiovisual Institute, the European Animation Centre and the Athens School of Fine Arts, have been united in one team and selected a series of various artistic activities in the context of the Serbian capital is Festival, that are targeting to reveal the Greek contemporary Visual Arts, through animation art, painting, sculpture, graffiti, video art, photography and music. Through this creative framework of all the above forms of art, Greek artists will present their propositions and will attempt artistic interventions in the city, with collaboration from their Serbian associates. Continue reading

Greece’s Relations with Serbia

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met her Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic in Athens on Thursday for talks ahead of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly. As expected, issues topping the ministers’ agenda included the major challenges facing the Balkan region, such as the status of Kosovo and Serbia’s Euro-Atlantic course.  Outlining Greece’s positions with respect to Serbia, Bakoyannis said Athens was “proceeding with exceedingly cautious steps and would continue in this way.”  On Kosovo, in particular, she emphasised the need to improve the quality of daily life in the region, especially for minorities, and regardless of the governing regime. The European Union Rule of Law Mission – EULEX– was an important factor in this direction, she added.  Regarding Serbia’s relations with the European Union, the minister said Greece was playing a key role in speeding up the strengthening of EU-Serbia ties, while she expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between Belgrade and the International War Tribunal, noting that the latest developments opened the way for greater rapprochement with the EU. “The next step will be for Serbia to apply for accession to the EU,” she noted, adding that Belgrade would have Greece’s full support for this step.  Bakoyannis also referred to the very good bilateral relations between Greece and Serbia, especially in the area of developmental cooperation. She said Greece had so far disbursed €235 million from an overall budget of €550 million under the Hellenic Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans, with priority given to completing Pan-European (roadway) Corridor X linking Thessaloniki with Belgrade and central Europe. Athens News Agency: Serbian FM in Athens; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Statements of FM Bakoyannis and her Serbian counterpart, Vuk Jeremic, following their meeting 

Festivals in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Cosmopolis Festival: The International Cosmopolis Festival (July 16-20) takes place in the city of Kavala, with ethnic music and dance groups from Albania, Spain, Malaysia, Russia, Serbia, Nepal, Puerto Rico, Tajikistan and Greece. In addition to the concerts and dance performances, visitors may also participate in several workshops, watch films from the participating countries, as well as taste their ethnic dishes.
Festival of the Aegean : On the island of Syros, the fourth annual Festival of the Aegean is taking place from July 9 to 19, presenting classical operas and musical concerts. Famous artists from over the world perform in the island’s Municipal Theatre called “La Piccola Scala.” Continue reading

The Greek Economy: Pointers

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     According to the 2007/2008 UN Human Development report, Greece ranks 24th out of 177 countries (Greece – Data; Greece – Fact sheet).  Greece belongs to the OECD family of developed nations, enjoys economic stability consolidated by membership of the European Union/Eurozone and its growth rate is above EU average.  Greece has a brand new modern infrastructure network and services, well-developed human resources (highly productive, well-trained and educated workforce, and one of the lowest labour costs in the EU) and is an important centre of business, research and cultural activity. Greece   can serve as a bridge for communication with the less favoured regions of the world. She is in a position to play a leading role in southeast Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, showing the way to their economic and social reconstruction. Continue reading

Greek position on Kosovo

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stated in Brussels on Monday that the aim, regarding Kosovo, is the “safeguarding of stability and security in the region”, and commenting on Athens’ position she said that “Greece will make its decisions at a later stage.” Speaking to reporters at the end of a European Union General Affairs and External Relations meeting, Bakoyannis said that the ’27’ agreed, after difficult consultations, on a text of “common positions” regarding the Kosovo issue. She added that “Greece always believed and continues to believe that the best solutions to differences and problems drive from mutually acceptable arrangements, through dialogue and consultations, and not by unilateral actions and faits accomplis.” Continue reading